Friday, April 17, 2020

Week of April 18 - 24, 2020

To answer these trivia questions, please email me at

Brain Teasers:

Can you name an Italian actress whose only Western was one shot in Spain by an American company?
It was Maria Grazia Buccella of VILLA RIDES!

Which Italian film editor, who co-wrote a Western, taught director Michelangelo Antonioni the possibilities of film editing?
No one has answered this question yet.

Which Italian born "James Bond girl" starred in both an American and an Italian Western?
George Grimes knew that it was Luciana Paluzzi.

Which American actor worked for directors Franco Rossi, Ferdinando Baldi, E.B. Clucher, Ramon Fernandez and Aldo Lado?
George Grimes knew that it was Leonard Mann.

By what name is James Newman better known?
No one has answered this question yet.

By what name is Gigi Montefiori better known?
George Grimes knew that it was George Eastman, aka Luigi Montefiori.

Which German actor appeared in Italian films alongside Robert Woods, Klaus Kinski, Van Heflin and Cameron Mitchell?
No one has answered this question yet.

And now for some new brain teasers:

Which American born actor became "the number-one British TV star" before doing an Italian Western mostly shot in the U.S.?
Which French actor worked for directors Jacques Rivette, Bernard Borderie, Gillo Pontecorvo, Alain Resnais, Jules Dassin, Fred Zinnemann, Tonino Valerii and Damiano Damiani?
Which Italian screenwriter was also a producing partner with Sergio Leone?

Name the movies from which these images came.

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Miou-Miou and Terence Hill in UN GENIO, DUE COMPARI, UN POLLO, aka A GENIUS.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Roger Browne and Alfio Caltabiano in SETTE CONTRO TUTTI, aka SEVEN REBEL GLADIATORS
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came? 

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Roger Browne in SUPERSEVEN CHIAMA CAIRO, aka SUPERSEVEN CALLING CAIRO.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

George Grimes identified last week's frame grab of Jackie Chan in THUNDERBOLT.
Above is a new photo.
Can you name from what movie it came?

I am interested in knowing what movies you have watched and what you enjoyed or not. So please send me an email at if you'd like to share. Here's what I watched last week:


REALIVE (2016) - Oona Chaplin, the daughter of Geraldine Chaplin, is gorgeous in director Mateo Gil's meditation on life, memory and love in the dressing of anti-cryostasis science fiction flick. In a number of ways this is reminiscent of ABRE LOS OJOS, which Gil co-wrote, but works much better. Tom Hughes and Charlotte Le Bon are also worth staring at.

Briarpatch season one on USA Network (2020) 

Mildly enjoyed:

Unsung "Al Jarreau" (2020)


I Am Not Okay With This season one (2020) - Sophia Lillis holds your attention, but season one doesn't have an ending with is infuriating.

Midsomer Murders "The Killings of Copenhagen" (2014)

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (2017) - I will never forgive Kenneth Branagh for MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN, and I am tired of a new version of ORIENT EXPRESS coming out every few years, but I enjoyed the first half hour or so of this film. Then came the over-heated melodrama and added action stuff that was just irritating. I'm not a fan of any version of ORIENT EXPRESS, but at least this version doesn't try to play it all off as a comedic lark like the 1974 installment. I found the 2010 edition with David Suchet a bit of a bore, but it remains my favorite because it kept Agatha Christie's original denouement with Poirot expressing his rage at being unable to balance the scales of justice. There was something like that here, but minus the rage.

THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957) - Perhaps its is nostalgia for old-fashioned storytelling, but this clever B-picture is such a joy to watch after so many Syfy flicks.

THE MOLE PEOPLE (1956) - Not as much fun as MONOLITH partly because it so closely follows the usual story of discovering an ancient hidden civilization only to have it destroyed in the end. Not to mention another revolt of the slaves scenario. But dig that wacky sacraficial dance number!

Did not enjoy:

CHUPACABRA VS. THE ALAMO (2013) - If you were hoping for a Daniel Boone vs. monsters movie, you'll be disappointed. This takes place in modern San Antonio where the city is over-run by hyena-looking K-9s and our heroes have to take shelter in the Alamo gift store and museum to fight them off. Why are there so many process shots of Erik Estrada riding a motorcycle? Was he unable to actually ride one or couldn't the producers afford a camera car?

THE DUEL (2016) - DJANGO is often called an "Horror Western" or a "Gothic Western", and it featured an introduction to the villain in which he practiced his marksmanship on captive Mexicans. That scene seems to have inspired the plot of this flick which is so unpleasant that it airs on the Syfy Channel. There aren't monsters in this like in BONE TOMAHAWK, but Woody Harrelson plays an evil preacher who is even creepier than that character played by Guy Pearce in BRIMSTONE. 

DEAD IN THE WATER (2018) - Virtually a remake of John Carpenter's THE THING substituting a parasitic creature from under the ocean's floor for a shape-shifting creature found frozen in the artic ice. And instead of an all male research team, this features an all female crew engaged in a Greenpeace-like effort to stop illegal fishing. From Sheldon Wilson, the director of MOTHMAN, RED: WEREWOLF HUNTER, THE NIGHT BEFORE HALLOWEEN and STICKMAN.

LEATHERFACE (2017) - This has more in common with a Rob Zombie movie than a Tobe Hooper flick. I hate seeing Lili Taylor in this.

MORLOCKS, aka TIME MACHINE: RISE OF THE MORLOCKS (2011) - British actress Christina Cole would seem too good to be in a Syfy Channel movie, but I'm sure she had her reasons. Maybe she just wanted to be splashed with Syfy Channel gore. This plays more like an episode of Stargate SG1 than anything related to H.G. Wells.

RED: WEREWOLF HUNTER (2010) - I'll watch just about anything featuring Felicia Day. 

REIGN OF THE GARGOYLES (2007) - The location work in Bulgaria is quite impressive. It appears that I only have one more flick written by Chase Parker to complete his filmography. From the writer of PATH OF DESTRUCTION, 


ROCK MONSTER (2008) - If you were hoping for a sequel to THE MONOLITH MONSTERS you will be sorely disappointed. This movie illustrates the old adage, that if you're hiking through a spooky forest in Bulgaria and see a sword sticking out of a rock - don't touch the sword. From the director of MONSTER ARK, SHARKTOPUS and WRONG TURN 3, 4 & 5.

THE SANDMAN (2017) - Someone watched FIRESTARTER.

SHADOWS OF THE DEAD (2016) - The most distrubting moment in this movie was at the end when the survivors seem to have no care about all of their non-surviving friends.

SiREN (2016) - This is the movie for all men who fear being raped by a murderous supernatural female.

STAR RUNNER (2009) - Imagine a Firefly/SERENITY rip-off set on a STARSHIP TROOPERS planet. Imagine it made by people with little budget and little talent.

THE STICKMAN (2017) - Another annoying Horror film directed by Sheldon Wilson.

THOR: HAMMER OF THE GODS, aka HAMMER OF THE GODS (2009) - Directed by Todor Chapkanov, who also gave us COPPERHEAD and GHOST TOWN.

TOXIC SHARK (2017) - Howcome Syfy hasn't done a Baby Shark monster movie yet? From Ashley O'Neil, the writer of LAVALANTULA and 2 LAVA 2 LANTULA comes this tale of vacationers on an island off Puerto Rico menanced by a giant shark gone crazy due to toxic waste. When the toxic waste gets on people, they become flesh eating crazies. Kabby Borders looks great in a bikini, which is something she didn't get to do in DAM SHARKS.

TRAILER PARK SHARK (2017) - Syfy is back in the leaping shark business with an appearance by Tara Reid, who, when told that a shark was in the water, says "The weatherman said nothing about a tornado." An evil landlord decides to evict the residents of a rundown trailer park by blowing up the levy. Natrually, in addition to flooding, the survivors are threatened by a pissed-off shark that gives off an electrical charge.

TRIASSIC ATTACK (2010) - The TV series Eureka was a jewel on the Sci Fi Channel before the channel became infested with monster shark movies. Star Colin Ferguson began a professional directing career with some episodes of his show, so it is kind of cute how this TV movie approximates the look of Eureka. Unfortunately, the script approved for this effort is infuriatingly offensive, with Native American magic animating dinosaur bones as a protest against an University expansion. Why would animated dinosaur bones want to eat anything without a central nervous system? How can everyone come together for an happy ending after so many innocent people have been killed? Steven Brand looks enough like Ferguson for him to pass as a doppleganger for the hero of Eureka, especially when they are similarly costumed. The interesting casting trivia is that Emilia Clarke, soon to become famous on Game of Thrones, plays our hero's daughter in her first professional film role. 


David Deal enjoyed:

THE LONE WOLF TAKES A CHANCE (41) - Warren William and Eric Blore try to save an inventor, Lloyd Bridges, who's been kidnapped by gangsters.  More fun mystery crime in the Saint/Falcon mold.

EAGLE HUNTRESS (16) - Documentary that recreates the story of the first female to enter the Mongolian contest for trainers of eagles as hunters. Interesting and enjoyable.




Mildly enjoyed:

BLACK LANCERS (62) - The 13th century Battle of Legnica between European forces and the Mongol hordes frames this brother-against-brother tale starring Mel Ferrer.  A well-mounted epic that features Leticia Roman and Yvonne Furneaux.

COUNTER-ESPIONAGE (42) - Warren William and Eric Blore foil a Nazi plot in London.  Wartime concerns drive this more somber entry in the Lone Wolf series.  Sufficient propaganda.


A BLACK VEIL FOR LISA (68) - Cop John Mills hires Robert Hoffman to kill his wife, Luciana Paluzzi.  Early directorial effort from Massimo Dallamano satisfies as Euro ambience but is not particularly compelling.

DANGEROUS MISSION (54) - Victor Mature is a cop sent to Glacier National Park to protect a witness to a murder (Piper Laurie) and Vincent Price is the killer sent to eliminate her.  Standard crime plot is "enlivened" by filming in the real Park complete with Native American rituals.  Features a square dance cut short by an avalanche and a forest fire that distracts both leads.  Producer Irwin Allen may have something  to do with the acts of God.


Charles Gilbert watched:

COAST TO COAST (1980) A riotous relationship develops between trucking owner operator Charlie Callahan (Robert Blake), and zany blonde Dyan Cannon. He's being hounded by the repo man after his GMC General big rig, and she's on the lam from her scheming husband and a mental institute.

MERCENARY FOR JUSTICE (2006) An American commando (Steven Seagal) in South Africa hatches a plan to rescue hostage friends of his.


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